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THE RESTORATION PERIOD AND THE RISORGIMENTO

lithograph by Giuseppe Elena In 1815, after Napoleon's defeat and the constitution of the Lombardo-Veneto Kingdom, the Austrian returned and Milan, which had previously been capital of Italy, remained the capital of the Lombardo-Veneto only. During the Restoration period the Castle was used as a barracks. The whole structure underwent no relevant changes, except for some decorative elements portraying Hapsburg Generals that were added on each side of the central gate in the northwestern area in 1838. The Foro Bonaparte was renamed Piazza Castello and was used to host military events.
Again, in March 1848, the Castle experienced bloody happenings, as the population rebelled against the foreign dominators during the famous 'Cinque Giornate' (for five days, from March 18 to March 22, in fact, Milan became battleground). Marshal Radetzky fired at the city from the heights of the old fortress, which had just been strengthened with ramparts and moats.Arco della Pace and Piazza d'ArmiRebels were arrested and imprisoned into the fortress. The insurrection ended with much bloodshed. Many people, both men and women, died and their corpses were buried under the castle ruins.

In the following four months, the castle was given back to the city of Milan. The citizens then decided to lower the circular towers, which were now regarded as a danger for their safety. As the Austrian returned to power, they built a defensive wall with loopholes. A last attempt made by the Republicans to set free the Castle ended with bloodshed. As the Austrian domination ended in 1859, Milan and Lombardy went to Sardinia. The Castle was besieged and sacked by the Milanese people.

The Castle historical background



Castello Sforzesco - Piazza Castello   20121 MILAN